HitFix selects 15 new-ish stars to click for 2012
Taylor Kinney, 'Chicago Fire'
Where You've Seen Them Before: "Vampire Diaries" fans know Kinney for getting wolfy as Mason Lockwood, but a wider audience may know him through his frequent proximity to Lady Gaga.
Breakout Role: Kinney broods and fights fires as Kelly Severide on NBC's "Chicago Fire."
Why: "House" veteran Jesse Spencer is better known, but if "Chicago Fire" somehow overcomes its presence on NBC and becomes a big hit (or even a small hit), Kinney is the member of the ensemble with the most to gain. He's CW-pretty, but he's also giving a performance here, which isn't unimpressive given that the pilot for "Chicago Fire" concentrates more on infernos than character insights. If producer Dick Wolf is true to his word and "Chicago Fire" goes in a more character-driven direction, Kinney could have audiences and critics going, "Wow! I can't believe they actually cast an American actor in a role like this."
- Daniel Fienberg